The Kern County Department of Public Health Services announced that two women died Tuesday after being hospitalized with flu-like illness.
The younger of the two women, a 30-year-old county resident who was hospitalized with H1N1 flu virus, had underlying medical conditions that may have put her at risk for severe flu illness, a news release said.
Test results to confirm H1N1 virus are still pending for the other woman, a 62-year-old who was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Public health officials did not know Tuesday if either of the two women had been vaccinated to protect against the flu.
Thirty people have been hospitalized with influenza-like illness in Kern County since Dec. 27 and public health officials said only one of those people had received a flu shot.
"The peak of the flu season is usually late January through February, so there is still time to benefit from a flu vaccine," Kern County Health Officer Dr. Claudia Jonah said in a news release.
Public health workers said an annual flu shot is the first step to prevent the flu, but you can also stop the spread of the illness by remembering to cover your cough, clean you hands and stay home if you are sick.